Snowshoe is a dream cat. All the best that you know about the mind, character and behavior of furry pets, embodied in this breed. And vice versa, everything negative that can be said about felines is completely absent in the Snowshoe cat. A more spectacular, graceful, intelligent, active and at the same time absolutely not arrogant and not vindictive pet than Snowshoe, simply cannot be found. An amazing breed is still very rare in our area, but its popularity is constantly growing.
This is a young and rare breed of cats. Breeding it is not an easy task, because it is impossible to predict in advance which kittens will be born. These graceful animals have snow-white “shoes” on their long legs, while the color they got from the Siamese.
The historical homeland of the Snowshoe cat breed is the United States of America. Dorothy Hinds-Dougherty, a breeder and lover of Siamese cats, lived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In the 60s of the last century, another offspring aroused her interest: some kittens had small snow-white “socks” and spots on the tips of their paws. Such an exterior seemed to Dorothy rather interesting and cute, and the woman decided to create a new breed, improving the sign and fixing this cute detail.
Therefore, Dorothy began work in this direction: she crossed a Siamese and a two-color American cat. The first result did not suit the breeder: the animals lacked the traditional Siamese color. Then the grown-up offspring were again brought together with the Siamese, and, finally, the work bore fruit: Snowshoe kittens appeared. The name was given to them by their creator.
Dorothy presented her new pets at the American show, but failed: felinologists refused to recognize the breed. Probably, this is where the story of Snowshoe cats would end. But they managed to win the heart of another breeder – Vicky Olander. She was so carried away by these animals that she began to breed them on her own and made the first standard. Her efforts did not go to waste – in 1974, the CFF and ACA organizations still recognize the Snowshoe cat as an experimental breed.
In 1977, Vicki was the only one who was engaged in breeding these animals. She was helped by other breeders when she asked them to. Through joint efforts, the breed received the status of a champion. This only happened in 1983.
Today, Snowshoe cats are common mainly in the UK and are quite rare. This is due to the complexity of gene inheritance, and not all offspring have breed characteristics. In addition, males predominate among the litter.
The unpopularity of white-legs is due to the strictest requirements for color. Since recessive genes come out here, breeding pets is similar to Russian roulette: it is very difficult to guess what will happen in the end.
Physical characteristics of the Snowshoe cat
Halfway between a Siamese and an American shorthair, snowshoe cats exhibit a number of characteristics inherited from these two pioneer breeds. From the Siamese it inherits its gaze from an unmistakable and penetrating blue, in addition to a long and stylized body, with a face the same triangular shape as that of the Siamese. On the shorthair side, this cat receives a muscular complexion and its characteristic white socks.
Snowshoe are medium-sized cats whose weight usually ranges between 3 and 5 kilograms, and as is common, females are somewhat lighter than males. Its body is athletic and proportionate, ending in a tail that is wider at the base than at the tip, which is rounded. The legs are relatively wide and end in rounded feet and are always white, contrasting with the rest of the leg.
Its neck is erect, graceful and elegant looking. The Snowshoe’s face is triangular and firm-chin, with an inverted “V” white spot. Its eyes are icy blue, like Siamese’s, oval in shape and large. The ears are medium or large and broad-based.
The coat of snowshoe cats is dense and short, its appearance is satin and it has no woolly coat. The most accepted colors are solid points and tabby points, which must have defined marks in accordance with the color of the body. They must always have those feet and that “V” as a white mask, as it is the most important thing in the standard of this breed.
The muzzle is decorated in the center of an inverted “V” filled with white. Also, these animals are often called “panda cats” because there are more dark villi around the eyes, in the area of the shoulders and thighs. The tail and feet at the pads are also black. But the “trademark” feature of Snowshoe cats is white shoes on the tips of their paws, for which the breed got its name. In a kitten, the color can be completely snow-white, and the final color version is formed only by two years.
Snowshoe kittens are born completely white and begin to show their colors and tasks only weeks later. There are not two kittens with the same spots.
Snowshoe cat behavior and personality
It is a very energetic breed, which meows a lot to demand different things from its owners. And it is that from the Siamese inherits a meow somewhat annoying for those who accompany her. Even so, the Snowshoe is a very intelligent, demanding, affectionate and sociable feline, as well as peaceful and calm in equal parts.
It needs the attention of the human being, frequently requiring to play with different utensils that will awaken his attention and concern. In addition, males are characterized by being very territorial and possessive.
The Snowshoe cat breed is the perfect companion choice for young children and other pets, making them the ideal addition to a family home.
This is a smart cat who likes to be with people. It is communicative, but more discreet than the Siamese, emitting soft and melodious sounds. It asks for company; so, if you are going to spend all day somewhere else, you should consider having two littermates.
Snowshoe cats are playful and can learn to bring objects; They need toys and games to entertain themselves. Snowshoe cats also like water, especially running water, although they also swim sometimes. They are very active, love to perch and feel a predilection for high places.
Snowshoe cats are curious, incredibly smart animals. They easily climb to the highest places, and also, like Scottish Fold cats, master the techniques of opening the latch and simple locks without any problems.
In terms of health, Snowshoe cats are very successful animals. Fortunately, no specific diseases in the breed have manifested themselves during the entire period of its existence. Good health, according to experts, went to the “shoes” from the American short-haired, during the breeding of which no risky selection experiments were carried out.
Siamese cats spoiled the picture a little – some ancestral lines of the Snowshoe cat retained from them a gene that causes squint or tail defects. It is difficult to call such manifestations diseases, but these factors directly affect the quality, price and exhibition prospects.
With proper care and timely medical care, animals demonstrate a high life expectancy – from 14 to 19 years.
Basic care of the Snowshoe Cat
The Snowshoe cat is quite unpretentious, so its owner does not have to spend a lot of time and effort on grooming. For this it is enough:
Brush the cat 1-2 times a week to remove excess hair. This procedure should be especially thorough during the molting period of the animal. Better to use a special brush purchased from a pet store. This maintenance will keep the coat smooth and shiny.
Snowshoe cats love to swim, but you should not abuse water procedures. The cat itself does a good job of hygiene. This cat needs to “take a bath” when it gets dirty (for example, when your pet is very dirty) or on hot summer days.
To prevent the appearance of periodontal disease, you can periodically brush your cat’s teeth. This can be done on your own using special tools, or by contacting your veterinarian.
Exercise is also essential to maintain the slender figure that defines it from its origin, in addition to its intelligence giving it an important capacity to acquire the habits desired by its owners.
Surprisingly, many Snowshoe kittens, and then adults, just love to swim. They, like Turkish Van cats, are not afraid of water at all and can swim in a bath or a pond, getting great pleasure from it.
To keep your Snowshoe cat looking healthy, it is important to feed it correctly.
A balanced diet is the key to a long life and active behavior of the animal.
Buy special food, and dry can sometimes be varied with wet.
We also recommend adding other foods: fresh green grass, boiled eggs (rarely), meat, fish.
If you do not trust store food and prefer to treat your pet only natural, then be sure to include in the diet:
- Egg yolk (it is advisable to mix it with milk);
- Fermented milk products (we exclude cream and sour cream, instead of them kefir, fermented baked milk, curdled milk are better);
- Raw oatmeal added to the main meal
- Fruits and vegetables (raw or boiled);
- Sprouts of oats, wheat (sow in a pot, the cat itself will eat when needed, this will help her to clear the stomach of wool);
- Special feline vitamins, in strict doses;
- Fresh meat, sea fish (boiled obligatory).
Nutrition for the animal is very important, it helps to maintain health and vigor.
Watch your cat’s drinking carefully: the water should always be fresh and clean.
The price of cat food varies, and here it is better to prefer high-quality rather than expensive.
We do not recommend giving only dry, it can ruin the cat’s digestion.
Combine with wet options, or better yet, natural foods.
Also pay attention to the condition of your pet: there are special food for animals during pregnancy, neutered and elderly cats.
Snowshoe cat price
Snowshoe kittens are expensive. The main reason for this is the difficulty of breeding. Even experienced breeders are lucky to get animals that fully meet the standard of appearance.
The rarity of the breed is also due to the fact that today there are few officially registered catteries in the world, where you can buy really elite kittens of the Snowshoe cat breed with all the necessary documents.
If we talk about price gradation, the price for a pet-class Snowshoe kitten fluctuates around 200$, and for kittens of higher categories you will have to pay from 1200$.
Snowshoe cat is a rather rare breed, so you can easily make a mistake and take the wrong kitten. Be sure to study the pedigree. The best option is to get acquainted with the parents of the future pet, evaluate the compliance of adult cats and a Snowshoe cat with standards.
Snowshoe cat breed highlights
- The animals have a playful, friendly disposition, are very intelligent and show good training abilities.
- Snowshoe cats experience almost a dog’s affection for the owner and are able to subtly feel the psychological state of a person.
- Snowshoe cat is extremely negative about loneliness. If you have not been home for a long time, get ready to listen to your pet upon arrival. He will tell you for a long, long time how sad and lonely he was. Snowshoe cat’s voice is quiet and soft, so it will be even pleasant to communicate with the cat.
- This cat will get along perfectly with all household members – both with people and with animals.
- The animal is in great contact with children. You can be calm – the cat will not even think about scratching or biting. The Snowshoe cat will not take revenge for the offense, because it is not at all rancorous. However, hardly anyone would think of offending this miracle.
- Snowshoe cat is very smart. Getting to the right place, even if a latch-locked door becomes an obstacle, is not a problem.
- Connoisseurs of the breed are happy to note the good health of these animals. They are unpretentious and not difficult to maintain. The only drawback is the difficulty of breeding. Getting the perfect Snowshoe cat isn’t easy. Only experienced breeders can solve this problem, and even in their environment, getting the “right” kittens is regarded as a great success.
Snowshoe cat conclusions
The color of the Siamese, “snow shoes” on long graceful legs, and a melodic voice – this is a Snowshoe cat. Their cute appearance and good-natured character will leave few people indifferent. This breed is characterized by restlessness and sociability, so in a house with such a pet it will never be bored.